The first book I fell in love with was a collection of Poe’s poetry published, as far as I can tell, right around the turn of the century(19th-20th, not the recent one). It belonged to my great-aunt and I discovered it only after she had passed, in a large dresser filled with, amongst other things, this book and a Sears & Roebuck catalog selling flintlock rifles, covered wagons, and prairie cabin kits.
The leather cover and gilt pages and poetry just captivated me.
Since then, I have been fascinated by old books and the craftsmanship required to make them(though the printing of the text didn’t much interest me at the time). So much so that, on a trip with my parents to Colonial Williamsburg, I spent the better part of an afternoon in their bindery talking to a very patient book artist as he explained, in character, the traditional process of binding books.
It’s a handmade book that was auctioned recently. It is an original Bronte manuscript that she made as a child.
Off the Tattered Cover tumblr, on the modern side of book making, I came across Valerie Buess. She is described as a paper artist, but a number of her works use either printed paper or book-like sculptures.